Saturday, July 14, 2018

BAD CALL by Stephen Wallenfels

Bad Call
If you are looking for a thriller with several shocking surprises, then look no more. BAD CALL by Stephen Wallenfels is perfect.

Four private prep school tennis players are about to head out on a mountain camping trip. At the last minute one of the four backs out leaving room for soccer champ, Ellie. Now the group consists of best friends Ceo and Collin, teammate Grahame, and of course, Ellie.

Things are a bit rocky from the very start. A forest fire requires a change of plans which takes them in a different direction. No problem - that's why there's GPS. Ceo seems to be in charge since he proposed the adventure and provided most of the equipment for the trip.

The fact that no one in the group is a particularly skilled hiker along with the fact that each member of the party seems to have his/her own private agenda for making the trip, means the whole plan was probably doomed from the start.

When their phones are out of range, the GPS malfunctions, a bear appears to be stalking them, and a storm approaches, all four are having second thoughts about their journey. Only three will make the return trip. Who will it be?

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

SHOOTER by Caroline Pignat


Alice, Isabelle, Hogan, and Xander end up in the same boys restroom when the Lockdown announcement is made over the PA. Hogan is dressed in the school mascot costume and not at all happy about it. Isabelle is concerned that a string of recent pranks will result in the principal following through on his threat to cancel all extracurricular events including the prom she has work so hard to plan. Alice is worried about her autistic brother and how he will respond to this sudden change in his routine. Xander continues snapping pictures without seeming to care about the potentially dangerous situation.

Isabelle's phone soon buzzes with a text from a friend hiding under a desk in the main office. The text describes the police arriving at the scene and the frightening fact that THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

At first it appears there is one shooter and he has been identified. There are sounds of gunfire and possibly firecrackers. What could be taking so long? Minutes tick by as the each of the students share their thoughts and fears.

When another text message from Isabelle's friend mentions the presence of a second shooter, one of the four bathroom prisoners reacts in a way that suggestions one of them might be involved. Now what should they do?

Author Caroline Pignat uses prose, poetry, text messages, and journal entries to chronicle the events of one hour in the lives of four grade 12 students as they struggle to survive an incident of gun violence in their school. SHOOTER is passionate and realistic from start to finish.

Monday, July 9, 2018

DIVE SMACK by Demetra Brodsky

Dive Smack

What happens when a history project reveals things about your life you never knew? DIVE SMACK by Demetra Brodsky takes readers on a wild ride with main character Theo Mackey. This book's thrilling plot will hold the attention of readers right to the very end.

Theo is busy trying to score a scholarship to Stanford with his springboard diving skills. He'd like to give all his attention to the sport, but life has other ideas. His history teacher has assigned a group project involving tracing his family tree. Theo's only access to his murky past is through his grandfather and his "uncle" Phil. Neither of those individuals seem particularly interesting in answering Theo's questions. Part of that might be because of his mother's unfortunate death when their family home burned to the ground. The fact that Theo had been messing around with matches on that fateful night has left him feeling tremendous guilt.

Theo's strange visions don't help matters either. PTSD has wiped any memory of the actual night of the fire, but from time to time, Theo imagines glimpses of his mother and a mysterious, long-haired girl. There must be some connection to what happened, but Theo can't quite pull it all together.

Filled with competitive diving references, stressful family relationships, sealed records, unnerving premonitions, and a mysterious mental facility, DIVE SMACK has a little something for everyone. This is definitely a thriller you won't want to miss.